Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Venezuela to meet with President Hugo Chavez after talks stalled in Moscow over his country’s nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad is making his sixth trip to the region since 2006 as he seeks to capitalize on a surge in anti-American sentiment spearheaded by Chavez and his eight-nation Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. The visit comes as pressure grows on Iran to cooperate with the international community on its nuclear ambitions.

“The objective is to show that Iran is not isolated, that it has friends in the international community,” said Cynthia Arnson, Latin America program director at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington. Iran “finds a great deal of comfort in seeking out regimes that have a similarly hostile posture toward the United States.”

More worrisome for Washington is whether Iran and Venezuela are cooperating in plans to use the South American country as a launch pad for attacks against the U.S. should relations with the Islamic Republic deteriorate further, Arnson said.


Original article here.